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28 March 2010

Zippy journeys to the afterlife

We're not sure exactly when it happened, but Zippy Munchkin our dwarf hamster died this weekend. We adopted him from the SPCA 1-1/2 years ago and his eyes have been solid white for several months, so we knew he was getting old. I hadn't seen him exporing his cage on Friday and when I went to top off his food bowls on Saturday he didn't come out to greet me (or should I say attack the hand that feeds him). So I lifted his house to see if he was snoozing, and sure enough, there he was, curled up in his bedding. We suspect he died peacefully because we never heard him in distress or struggling around his cage.

Just a couple weeks ago I was thrilled with myself for outsmarting the little guy and being able to trim all his nails. Since he enjoys biting and we've never been able to hold him, I would trim his nails by sneaking a tiny scissors through the cage bars as he chewed a tasty treat. We leaned this trick with Rusty, our last hamster, but being a naturally skittish dwarf hamster meant it was lucky if Zippy would sit still long enough for me to trim a single nail. Then I came up with the idea to smear some peanut butter on the cage bars to entice him to sit still longer. Sure enough, Zippy was so focused on licking the peanut butter off the cage bars that he barely noticed I was trimming his nails. I got all his nails trimmed in one sitting! At least the little guy went to the afterlife with a fresh manicure.

Zippy got a proper burrial beneath a rock where Rusty is also burried. He was nestled in his favorite cotton bedding and got to take several of his favorite treats with him - shelled pumkin and sunflower seeds, a peanut butter treat, and a few pieces of dried apricot.

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